NEW YORK – A New York City firefighter who had responded to the World Trade Center attack (search) was killed in Iraq while serving with the Army National Guard, city officials said.
Sgt. Christian P. Engeldrum, 39, is the first FDNY firefighter to die in Iraq since the U.S.-led war began, Mayor Michael Bloomberg (search) said. Engeldrum was killed Monday when his vehicle came under attack outside Baghdad (search).
"I join all New Yorkers in mourning his loss and pray that his family finds comfort in the innumerable ways he touched so many lives," Bloomberg said in a statement.
Another New York firefighter, Daniel J. Swift, 24, was riding in the same vehicle and suffered shrapnel wounds, Bloomberg said. Swift was in Germany for treatment and was expected to recover.
Both Engeldrum and Swift spent months digging through the rubble of the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Engeldrum was a five-year fire veteran who previously served as a police officer. He was on active duty in the Army from 1986 to 1991.
"He was a great fireman," fire Lt. Brian Horton said at the Bronx firehouse where Engeldrum served. "He was 100 percent soldier. He loved his country, and he loved being a fireman. He was a lucky man — he got to do what he loved."
Engeldrum is survived by a wife and two sons.